20 febrero 2007

"consider my humanity if i don't need love... question my sanity if i don't need Your love"

thought one:
what, ontologically, beyond "because God said so," makes lying wrong? if that reason could be compromised BY TELLING THE TRUTH, would that justify lying?

thought two:

Your hope in my heart is the rarest treasure
Your Name on my tongue is the sweetest word
My choicest hours Are the hours I spend with You --
O Allah, I can't live in this world
Without remembering You--
How can I endure the next world
Without seeing Your face?
I am a stranger in Your country
And lonely among Your worshippers:
This is the substance of my complaint.
-Rabia al Basri-
"Not much is known about Rabia al Basri, except that she lived in Basra in Iraq, in the second half of the 8th century AD. She was born into poverty [and later became a slave].
Her master worked her very hard, but at night after finishing her chores Rabia would turn to meditation and prayers and praising the Lord. Foregoing rest and sleep she spent her nights in prayers and she often fasted during the day.

One day the master of the house spied her at her devotions. There was a divine light enveloping her as she prayed. Shocked that he kept such a pious soul as a slave, he set her free. Rabia went into the desert to pray and became an ascetic. Unlike many sufi saints she did not learn from a teacher or master but turned to God himself.

Throughout her life, her Love of God. Poverty and self-denial were unwavering and her constant companions. She did not possess much other than a broken jug, a rush mat and a brick, which she used as a pillow. She spent all night in prayer and contemplation chiding herself if she slept for it took her away from her active Love of God.

More interesting than her absolute asceticism, however, is the actual concept of Divine Love that Rabia introduced. She was the first to introduce the idea that God should be loved for God's own sake, not out of fear--as earlier Sufis had done.

She taught that repentance was a gift from God because no one could repent unless God had already accepted him and given him this gift of repentance. She taught that sinners must fear the punishment they deserved for their sins, but she also offered such sinners far more hope of Paradise than most other ascetics did. For herself, she held to a higher ideal, worshipping God neither from fear of Hell nor from hope of Paradise, for she saw such self-interest as unworthy of God's servants; emotions like fear and hope were like veils -- i.e. hindrances to the vision of God Himself.
Rabia was in her early to mid eighties when she died, having followed the mystic Way to the end. By then, she was continually united with her Beloved. As she told her Sufi friends, "My Beloved is always with me"

* * * *

if someone loves the Ultimate Reality enough to submit their entire self to Him and lives a life of devotion as pure as humanity is capable of, IS IT IN VAIN?

conversely, if one loves the Ultimate Reality not much at all but REALLY REALLY means it when they pray the Sinner's Prayer and is willing to be participate in life as a Christian for all their days, IS IT EFFICACIOUS?

ay, Jesus... why can't those who would love You be given the opportunity, and those who should love You use the opportunity we have... misericordia.

thought three:
"O Allah! If I worship You for fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship You in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise. But if I worship You for Your Own sake, grudge me not Your everlasting Beauty.”

should we be willing to serve God regardless of eternity? and on another issue, is eternity so unreal to me that it makes the above expression a moot point?

thought four:

from dust you are to dust you will return... so you know what God has done FOR your soul... ahora, what are you doing with yo' soul, my friend?


Anonymous axegrinder said...


This thoughtful post really deserves numerous thoughtful responses. I was hoping your brother, JJ or some other soul would invest a few moments to do so, and that I could then piggy-back off of them or jump into the conversation.

I'm hoping to come to ETex in April. Maybe we could mull some of this stuff over then. In saying that, I am not precluding a comment here that directly bears upon your post.


miércoles, 28 febrero, 2007  
Anonymous Anónimo said...

When one gets to "know" and really "see" GOD'S character and nature, HE, HIMSELF, the Altogether Lovely ONE becomes your goal, bottom line. When one sees and knows his own heart and nature apart from GOD that HIS desire is for us HE is all you will want! GOD'S goal for us is being conformed to the Image of HIS SON ... unselfish love, unselfish love, unselfish love. HE wants us to love HIM not just for HIS gifts, graces and comforts or only love others for what others can do for us. To accomplish this HE will withdraw the comforts and extra special graces you are used to and try you to purify your motives and to see what you really think of HIM. Never, no matter what you are going through think wrong thoughts about HIM - HE is love and will never allow anything that is not for your highest good -which is HIMSELF in all the fulness of it! What does it mean to know the breadth, length, depth and height of GOD'S love? Some say that means you begin to understand how grand HIS love is for you and that is true but also it means you will allow HIM to stretch you into experiencing a taste of these extremes so that HE can love others through you - the unlovely and the saints -- and it will stretch you beyond what you could imagine. But as you allow HIS love to flow through you unselfishly and sacrificially you will find yourself being more conformed to HIS Image. Even in the dark trying, purifying times HE will be there with you - not necessarily because you feel it (because remember HE sometimes withdraws the emotional or tangible comforts) but because you know HE cannot fail you nor will ever lie to you. You know HE is working good out of it all because you KNOW HIM! Glory! What a lifelong adventure - remember your goal is GOD HIMSELF! We were created for HIS good pleasure after the counsel of HIS own will and we want to bring HIM joy (and all that will do that is CHRIST!)What an honor and privilege. Embrace HIM with your whole heart, unbegrudginly. Worthy is the LAMB!

jueves, 01 marzo, 2007  

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